SUV involved in several crashes downtown, driver arrested: Guelph police

UPDATED: Guelph police say a 32-year-old man faces several charges and added that he was found with $450 worth of purple fentanyl. 

Guelph police say the driver of an SUV allegedly caused several crashes downtown on Tuesday afternoon, closing three streets and sending several people to the hospital, including children.

Officers responded to a report of a possible impaired driver in the parking lot of the Guelph Public Library’s main branch at Norfolk and Oxford streets just after 5 p.m.

Speaking to Global News from one of the crash scenes, Sgt. Ray Gordon said when officers arrived, the black SUV had already left and circled Oxford Street before heading south on Norfolk Street.

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“It failed to yield to traffic at the intersection of Norfolk and Cork, and was in a collision with a vehicle at that location,” he said.

Gordon said a mother and her children were in a white car that was hit and taken to hospital. Gordon didn’t know the severity of their injuries but said all of them were able to walk to the ambulance.

Following that crash, Gordon said the SUV made its way down Cork Street, striking at least two parked cars before the driver jumped out of the vehicle at Wyndham Street.

“The occupant of the vehicle exited while it was still in motion,” he said. “The vehicle then struck another car that was in the centre lane southbound on Wyndham and then another vehicle that was stopped for the traffic signal.”

The SUV then came to a stop on Wyndham Street, just south of Cork Street.

Gordon said some quick-thinking bystanders jumped into action and managed to apprehend the suspect before police arrived.

“He discharged a noxious substance into the faces of those people but they were able to persevere and effectively arrest the man and hold him until police arrived,” he said.

Another man driving a vehicle that was hit was also taken to hospital but Gordon did not know his condition.

The man arrested has not been identified and it’s not known which charges he faces.

“Horrendously dangerous activity by this individual. Clearly no regard for public safety,” Gordon said.

Police closed all of Cork Street for the investigation, while stretches of Wyndham and Norfolk were also closed for several hours.

The crashes happened as a vigil for the 215 children found buried in a Kamloops residential school was being set up nearby in front of the Basilica of Our Lady Immaculate which also closed the intersection of Macdonell and Norfolk streets.

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It also comes just over two weeks after a 14-year-old girl was injured in a crash that was allegedly caused by two vehicles street racing near Woolwich and Powell streets.

Two young men face several charges including criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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